If they own a website or a business in a similar niche, then owning a large affiliate site could be a great complementary way to make more money while still dominating the main niche that they are focusing on. Since affiliate sites do not take a lot of time to manage when not in growth mode, a Strategic Sally could buy this site and just use it to boost her personal brand or the business that she is currently growing with ease.
For people with a genuine following, you may be able to recover lost revenue by reaching out to the actual manufacturers of the products. If you own a technology niche site or unboxing Youtube channel, for instance, you might be able to reach out to manufacturers to sponsor your reviews, or to pay you for banner ad spots on your niche site if the site is ranking #1 for an important buyer keyword for that manufacturer.
It has universal appeal. Unlike some types of marketing that work better for certain segments than others, affiliate marketing is really something that anyone can use on their WordPress site or e-commerce store. With millions of products available and categories covering a wide spectrum, you’re bound to find more than enough products worth promoting.
Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.

It’d be hard for Google to argue with this content not adding value. After all, some of the guides have received close to 10,000 shares and have been used by the brands themselves to educate their own customers. Generally speaking, each guide takes about 40-50 hours to produce, and is benchmarked to beat the best existing piece of content on the topic in virtually every aspect (from design and share-ability, to page speed and on-page SEO).
Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks
This agreement governs participation in the Brian Tracy Affiliate Partnership Program only. Once you are accepted into the Program, you will be able to participate in the Program subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You should also note that if you are accepted to participate in the Program and your Site is thereafter determined (in our sole discretion) to be unsuitable based on the criteria below for the Program, we may terminate this Agreement:

While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer. 

Amazon launched back in 1994 and, two short years later, they developed their Amazon Associates program. In so doing, Amazon was able to increase exposure to their marketplace by enabling web developers and site owners to work as evangelists for their products. It helped drive more traffic to Amazon while giving these business-minded individuals the opportunity to generate more revenue for their own sites and businesses.
Just like a real-world funnel, a sales funnel acts similarly. It funnels down visitors through several stages before they become buyers. The way Henry explains it, if you're not creating an emotional attachment during each stage of that funnel, then you're largely wasting your time. It has to start from the very beginning, and it has to carry out all the way to beyond the purchase.
His blog became wildly successful. At roughly the same time, V2 Cigs informed him of their affiliate program where they paid out 50% commissions. That was Henry's "aha" moment. Almost immediately after adding those affiliate links onto his blog, his income exploded. He was making over $30,000 per month and it was passive income. He was on top of the world.
Amazon runs one of the largest affiliate programs around, called Amazon Associates. You can become part of the program as long as your website already has some content (about five or ten posts). Bear in mind that once you’ve applied, it can take a few days to be approved. Once your account is ready, you can start to focus on building an effective website.
How crazy your the first to write what I needed at the beginning of my blog research venture. Thus, this is exactly what I have been doing, and funny just the other day I was writing down my cost as I go along. I am new to the blogging community and just started in Jan 2018. I am now on step 10-11ish. The part I am trying to really work on is building an audience, and writing more content so I can bring more people to my site. It is hard work for sure. What was the name of your blog, that you created to do this? It is not the wallet squirrel is it, as that one seems like it has been around for a while.
You are solely responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of your Affiliate Site and for all materials that appear on your Affiliate Site. Such responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the technical operation of your Affiliate Site and all related equipment; creating and posting product reviews, descriptions, and references on your Affiliate Site and linking those descriptions to our website; the accuracy of materials posted on your Affiliate Site (including, but not limited to, all materials related to FatCow Products and Services); ensuring that materials posted on your Affiliate Site do not violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party and are not libelous or otherwise illegal. We disclaim all liability and responsibility for such matters

The Amazon Associates affiliate program uses a tiered commission structure to pay out to affiliates. The more you sell, the more you will earn. That’s why many affiliates will attempt to promote two different types of products – cheap and expensive. By promoting cheap products under $10, you will likely receive a lot of purchases. For example, many affiliate marketers will promote e-books that may only cost $5. Since Amazon only pays up to 8.5% commissions, you’re not going to earn much by selling a $5 e-book. However, making a lot of sales of smaller items helps to boost your sales count in the, which also boosts the amount of commission you receive. Here is the current Amazon Associates Affiliate Program commission structure:
This Agreement may be terminated by either party at the expiration of its term or any renewal term upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. Company acknowledges that this Agreement shall not be terminated for MA’s failure to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or substantial equivalent published in Paragraph 3 (k) of this Agreement, except that Company does reserve the right to terminate this Agreement for MA’s failure to follow required procedures relating to the processing of sales contracts, invoices and billing related to Technology sold under this Agreement.

Update: I used to recommend carousel style Amazon ads, but they don’t exist anymore. When I used them they converted about 3 times better than static style Amazon banner ads. I suggest using Native Shopping Ads instead which is essentially a replacement to the carousel style ads but allows for greater flexibility. You can display products by recommendation from the content, by search or with other options. Here is what the a Native Shopping Ad looks like for the keyword search “Chris Guthrie” Amazon displays the Kindle books I’ve written:


Amazon will not pay you unless your affiliate sales reach a threshold of $10 if you choose to be paid by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift card, or $100 if you want to be paid by check. If you fail to reach the threshold, your affiliate balance is carried over to the next month and added to the sales you make then. Amazon pays affiliate sales at net 60 days, so, for example, sales that reach the threshold at the end of January will be paid in late March.
Note from Justin & Joe: We will be repricing ALL of the Amazon Associates sites on our marketplace to reflect this change. Our methodology for this will include using the seller’s earning report from Amazon. We have created a formula using historical sales that adjusts the commission percentage based on the new rates that Amazon has rolled out. These rates are adjusted in every category and accurately updated with the historical earning amounts. Since every item is in a different commission category, we will take every category that the website is selling in into account for the new adjusted valuation price.

However, be aware that you need to submit an application to most of these networks to be accepted. Once you're accepted in, you're often required to apply directly to the merchant afterwards. So there are two layers or gates that you need to bypass. That's also why it's important to build up your platform and create that emotional bridge between yourself and your audience before attempting to promote anything to them.


IN NO EVENT SHALL COMPANY BE LIABLE TO “MA”, ITS CLIENTS, OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY TORT OR CONTRACT DAMAGES OR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, GENERAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS AND LOSS OF GOODWILL, ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE (OR INABILITY TO USE) OR DISTRIBUTION OF THE TECHNOLOGY FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.

Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[28] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.

Excellent written article, I only recently started delving into Amazon affiliate sales and have been following what you recommend with links in posts and reviews converting better. One question I had which you don’t show in a screen shot is how many sales are through product link clicks and how many are through “all other items ordered”. I am curious to know what # of sales are from products not directly listed, but just taking advantage of the Amazon cookie and getting percentage of those sales.


Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.

Assignment. You will not assign or transfer this Agreement, including any assignment or transfer by reason of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of its assets, change of control or operation of law, without our prior written consent. We may assign this Agreement to any affiliate or in the event of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, change of control or operation of law.
FatCow will process orders placed by Referred Customers who follow the Links from an Affiliate Site to FatCow. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject orders that do not comply with certain requirements that we may establish from time to time. All aspects of order processing and fulfillment, including FatCow’s services, cancellation, processing, refunds and payment processing will be our responsibility. We will track the Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site and will make this information available to you through our website. To permit accurate tracking, reporting, and commission accrual, you must ensure that the Links between your website and our website are properly formatted.
Upon the execution of this Agreement, Company shall provide copies of its end user license agreements to MA. MA shall promptly review such agreements and advise Company as to what revisions, if any, should be made to the end user license agreements for resale in the Territory set forth in Schedule A to ensure that the agreements comply with requirements of local law in the Territory, and that Company has protection concerning proprietary rights, warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability under such local and federal laws of the U.S.
In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
Just one thing probably you would like to update in this post is the list of themes for Amazon affiliate website. I believe 3/5 are not available in the marketplace now. So it’s little annoying when you go in search for a theme and read the whole lot of information and started liking it but later you figure out that theme is no longer available for sale.
Viglink – This is an affiliate marketing plugin that’s associated with my Viglink Account (Here’s my experience with Viglink). If anyone clicks on a product on my website, Viglink will track this and I get a commission if they buy something. You can use Amazon Associates for your Affiliate Marketing, but I like Viglink because it has partnerships with 2,000 different stores including Amazon. Viglink is how I plan to make money with my new Amazon Affiliate Website. Here is my personal affiliate link if you want to learn more about Viglink and how it works.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to stay far away from stock images, since they can make your website look unprofessional. More importantly, finding stock images of specific products is difficult, and you don’t want to use any content that doesn’t accurately showcase the items. Finding (or creating) your own pictures takes a bit more work, but is worth the effort in the long run.
I feel like if you have 98% only affiliate content and no other valuable content it’s more likely to be penalized. I was following a lot of competitor sites in Ahrefs and noticed all the ones that tanked had only thin affiliate content and no non-affiliate content. For some reason I thought FixYourSkin was yours but I was wrong. That site went down like crazy and lost their traffic by half. I saw them trying to recover by adding more quality content but it doesn’t seem to help for them and it’s not helping me either.
The GDPR places strict limitations on how much marketers can personalize their ads. Facebook and Google have already introduced new policy changes to compliance. In March, Google announced that it will limit processing of any personal information about minors, as required under the GDPR Age of Consent requirements. They also released a new solution for publishers that only want to display ads that do not include personalized information on customers who didn’t consent to data collection for targeting. Facebook has stopped processing newsfeed posts for targeting ads, except when the ads are marked for the general public or friends of friends. The company made this change because those types of ads usually depend on demographic data that is included in the “special categories of data” provision under the GDPR.
Do you have any opinions about sites that got hit with Google Fred for having too much affiliate content? I think one of your other sites got hit (not TYS) and I saw you add a lot of new content but it’s not going up much. The same thing happened to me; I had too much affiliate content and got penalized; added more content but it’s not helping. I am thinking of just starting a new site and redirecting links to the new site. I feel like this penalty is unrecoverable…. 

(d) You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition apply neither to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices, such as a non-mobile-optimized site accessed via an internet browser on a tablet device, nor an Approved Mobile Application as defined in the Participation Requirements or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).

8.1. You represent and warrant that (a) you have the authority to enter into this Agreement and sufficient rights to grant any licenses expressed herein, and (b) any material displayed on your Site will not: (i) infringe on any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or right of publicity or privacy; (ii) violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation; (iii) be defamatory or libelous; (iv) be lewd, pornographic or obscene; (v) violate any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising; (vi) promote violence or contain hate speech; (vii) promote discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability; (viii) contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other similar harmful or deleterious programming routines' or (ix) otherwise constitutes an "unsuitable Site" as determined by Brian Tracy in accordance with the terms outlined in the Section 1 above titled "Participation in the Program."

Media reporter Mathew Ingram tweeted, "Not great for media who rely on affiliate revenue[,]" potentially a nod to popular gadget reviews The Wirecutter, which was acquired by The New York Times. Technology journalist Michael Morisy quipped, "Amazon reworks affiliate program, cutting commissions 50% for electronics. Guess they think Jet threat has passed?" in a reference to up-and-coming Amazon rival Jet.com, which sold to Walmart in a deal largely regarded as a failure for the startup.
You shall not use the Licensed Materials for any purposes other than selling FatCow Products and Services, without first submitting a sample to us and obtaining the express prior written consent of FatCow in each instance. You shall not use the Licensed Materials in any manner that is disparaging or that otherwise portrays FatCow, any hosted member of FatCow or any FatCow employee or representative in a negative light. We reserve all of our rights in the Licensed Materials and your license to use such material is limited to the manner described herein. We may revoke your license at any time, by giving you written notice. If not previously revoked, this license shall immediately terminate upon the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program.

Disclaimer. EXCEPT AS PERMITTED HEREIN, YOU SHALL NOT AND ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO (i) USE THE FATCOW TRADEMARK, NAME OR ANY OF OUR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE LINKS, AND THE LICENSED MATERIALS (COLLECTIVELY, THE “FATCOW IP”) (OR ANY VARIATIONS OR MISSPELLINGS THEREOF OR OTHER TERM OR TERMS CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR TO ANY OF THE FOREGOING) WITHOUT FATCOW’S EXPRESS PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION; (ii) USE FATCOW IP IN A DOMAIN OR WEBSITE NAME, IN ANY BIDS FOR KEYWORDS OR GOOGLE ADWORDS (OR SIMILAR PROGRAMS AT OTHER SEARCH ENGINES), IN ANY SEARCH ENGINE ADVERTISING (PAID OR OTHERWISE), IN ANY METATAGS, GOOGLE ADWORDS (OR SIMILAR PROGRAMS AT OTHER SEARCH ENGINES), KEY WORDS, ADVERTISING, SEARCH TERMS, CODE, OR OTHERWISE; (iii) ACT IN ANY WAY THAT CAUSES OR CREATES OR COULD CAUSE OR CREATE ANY "INITIAL INTEREST CONFUSION" OVER THE USE OF FATCOW IP ON THE INTERNET OR IN ANY SEARCH ENGINE ADVERTISING. YOUR USE OF FATCOW IP IN ANY MANNER, OTHER THAN AS EXPRESSLY PERMITTED HEREUNDER SHALL CONSTITUTE UNLAWFUL INFRINGEMENT OF FATCOW’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND MAY SUBJECT YOU TO CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES (INCLUDING POTENTIAL TREBLE DAMAGES FOR KNOWING OR WILFUL INFRINGEMENT), AND THE OBLIGATION TO PAY FATCOW’S LEGAL FEES AND COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING IN WHICH FATCOW SEEKS TO ENFORCE ITS RIGHTS UNDER THIS AGREEMENT OR WITH REGARD TO ANY OF FATCOW’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS.
Choose products carefully. Don't promote something you wouldn't buy or don't like just to make money. It will backfire and cause you to lose credibility with your website visitors. People are more likely to buy products you personally recommend. If you don't have experience with the product, be sure to check out reviews to see what other people's experience with it is.
There’re too many affiliate programs available to anyone who are looking for such money making opportunities.You may overwhelm by too many choices and need time to study which program to join ! However,with those useful pointers from Darren as an affiliate marketer for Amazon will help you to decide whether you should consider Amazon as one of your best choice !
The Program Operator and their associated companies operate with the strictest codes of professional conduct. Any affiliate who brings the the Program Operator or their employees, partners, or associates into disrepute, or who promotes any form of slander, racism, or unfair business practices, will have their affiliate status canceled and any outstanding commissions will be forfeited.
(g) include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates, or a variant or misspelling of a trademark of Amazon or its affiliates in any domain name, subdomain name, in any “tag” or Associates ID, or in any username, group name, or other identifier on any social networking site (see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks listed on our Non-Exhaustive Trademark Table); or

Great advice here. The typical idea of writing reviews of bicycle pedals and expecting someone to follow your link in order to buy a pair is dead. Now if you are actually a cyclists, and you know something about all the different types of pedals, and why different types solve different cycling problems, then hey, welcome to the world of providing useful content.


The Santa Claus Christmas Store, in Santa Claus, Ind., was typical of a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses when it sought to expand its online footprint earlier this year. In addition to sprucing up its website and increasing its pay-per-click advertising budget, it joined an affiliate marketing network. This connected the 7,000-square-foot holiday emporium with the vast community of bloggers, coupon sites and other “affiliates” around the web that promote products in return for a percentage of each sale they encourage.
Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).

What initially attracted me to using Amazon’s Affiliate program was the breadth of products that they had in their system. This is a great thing if you’re niche is narrow or quite obscure as many bloggers find it difficult to find affiliate programs to match their blog’s focus. Blogs like John’s and mine here at ProBlogger do have an array of options for affiliate programs (which is why I don’t use it a lot on this blog and make most of my earnings from Amazon from product related blogs) but many bloggers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose high paying affiliate programs because they simply don’t relate to our topics. Amazon then becomes one of the more attractive options.
Yes and no. Affiliate marketing can generate passive income, but the passive side of the income usually only follows putting in a few years of hard work to generate the brand and audience you'll need to begin generating those passive sales. I have multiple sites earning passive income, but each of those sites took a lot of front end work to build up to that point. And not every site gets to the point of passive income. Some sites require continual maintenance though the revenue they generate can also allow you to pay for that maintenance to be done vs. you needing to do it yourself.
The easiest way to find affiliate programs to promote is to check if the people selling products and services you love have an affiliate program – assuming those products and services would be relevant to the visitors to your blog or website. There are also multiple ways to find new quality products or services to promote to your audience based on their interests. You'll find more information on how to do this here.
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